By Steve Goodier
Many people like me feel slightly passed over in a world that
seems to place a high value on beauty. But a short poem by
Anthony Ewell reminds us that physical attractiveness can be
over-rated. He writes:
"As a beauty I am not a great star, There are others more
handsome by far. But my face, I don't mind it, For I am behind
it, It's the people in front who get the jar!"
Physically, maybe I'm not the stuff dreams are made of. And
maybe, as the poem suggests, it doesn't matter. Because I believe
there is another kind of beauty in all of us that can be
experienced by anybody who digs a little deeper.
Several times I have visited a natural wonder that is one of the
largest and most spectacular of its kind in the world. Carlsbad
Caverns is an immense series of limestone caves extending under
much of southern New Mexico (USA). Native Americans took refuge
in the gaping hole that is the main entrance, but they did not
venture far. A hundred years ago settlers in the area were
attracted to the opening by the awesome sight of hundreds of
thousands of bats swarming from the hole every summer evening.
Though a bat guano mining operation was set up, nobody explored
much beyond the bat's dwelling places.
Eventually, a cowboy name Jim White explored deeper. He returned
with fantastic stories of gigantic subterranean chambers,
spectacular cave formations and unbelievably stupendous sights.
Even in 1915, after black and white photographs were taken of the
caverns, many did not believe. The government sent skeptic Robert
Holley to investigate in 1923. He wrote in his final report, "I
am wholly conscious of the feebleness of my efforts to convey in
words the deep conflicting emotions, the feeling of fear and awe,
and the desire for an inspired understanding of the Divine
Creator's work which presents to the human eye such a complex
aggregate of natural wonders."
A whole new world - majestic, wondrous and awe-inspiring - lay
hidden from view. Its unimagined beauty can only be experienced
by exploring beneath the surface.
And so it is with people. I have found in people a unique inner
beauty that can be discovered by exploring beneath the surface.
They may not believe it is there themselves, but that does not
mean it doesn't exist.
Those outward looks we're usually so self-conscious about don't
matter much. Who people really are may be hidden beneath the
outer landscape like a magnificent subterranean palace. And when
you care to scratch the surface a bit, you can discover what
others have missed.
And you will be rewarded beyond measure.
Steve Goodier's books & newsletter: